ARCADIA — Having won its first five games of the season, it appeared the members of the Hoover High softball team had gained plenty of traction.
In the first inning of Thursday’s Pacific League road contest against Arcadia, the Tornadoes’ streak of perfection skidded out of control.
Hoover allowed nine runs in the opening inning and suffered a 19-1 defeat in a game called in the fifth inning because of the 10-run mercy rule.
“Everybody on the team got a big dose of real softball,” said Hoover Coach Rich Henning, whose team finished with just one hit and dropped to 5-1, 1-1 in league. “That was big-girl softball.
“The good news is that a lot of things can still be fixed.”
After the Tornadoes took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a ground-rule double by Jenesy Gonzalez, things quickly fell apart. Arcadia (4-5, 1-1) sent 13 batters to the plate in its half of the inning The Apaches finished with seven hits and capitalized on a pair of Hoover errors to break the contest open.
Arcadia tied it at 1 on a run-coring single by Izzy Mejia. The Apaches made it 4-1 on a two-run single by Pricilla Yao.
“We knew coming into the season that we were going to be young and that included having two freshman pitchers,” said Henning, whose team started league Tuesday with a 26-0 win against visiting Muir. “[Arcadia] got a couple of hits and we got a bit rattled.
“It’s just about going out there and learning. We are 1-1 in league. Now, we will look to regroup.”
Things got steadily worse for the Tornadoes, who saw the Apaches score five runs in the third and fourth.
Arcadia bounced back following an 8-1 league-opening defeat against visiting Burbank on Tuesday. Burbank captured the league championship last season.
Arcadia first-year Coach Richard Klumpp said the Apaches looked to break out of their funk.
“You don’t take anybody for granted,” said Klumpp, whose team finished with 20 hits. “It’s a good league from what I’m hearing and you know there’s some good competition.
“To get those runs in the first inning calmed things down.”
Arcadia took a 10-1 lead in the third on a run-scoring single by Stephanie Noriega. Noriega, Arcadia’s leadoff hitter, finished with three runs scored. The Apaches also received three hits from Yao and Lauren Jauregui. Yao had a two run inside-the-park home run in the fourth to complete the scoring.
“With our pitchers being so young, they have time to learn as we go along,” Henning said. “They just need to keep working hard.”
The teams will meet again at 3:30 p.m. April 29 at Hoover.
Hoover will next participate in a league home contest Tuesday against Burroughs.
Follow Charles Rich on Twitter: @TCNCharlesRich .